Saying "no" to Chef Mickey's?

Last fall was my kids’ (DD3 and DS1) first trip to WDW. In addition to 4 days at the parks filled with rides and meet/greets, the “special” things we did were BBB, breakfast at CRT and lunch at Chef Mickey’s. We are planning our return trip for this fall (which my daughter knows about). She has asked to do a number of things again … including BBB, CRT and Chef Mickey’s.

We are fine with doing BBB and a meal at CRT this trip, but my wife and I do not like buffets and did not enjoy Chef Mickey’s (other than seeing kids happy). Our plan this year was breakfast in the room (staying at BLT), QS lunch at the parks (other than CRT day), and TS dinners without characters.

My daughter mentioned going back to Chef Mickey’s again yesterday and now I’m feeling guilty about it.

I generally don’t have a problem saying “no” to her, but for some reason it seems much harder to say “no” when it comes to Disney World.

How do you all handle the saying “no” to Disney World requests from kids?

It kind of depends on how you approached it to begin with.

We don’t really ever allow our kids to believe they have ultimately say about anything in our vacations. We will ask their input/preference, but with the caveat that Mom and Dad make the final decisions as to what we’re doing.

Personally, I’d just say, “No.”

If they want to know why, I’d just stay matter of fact about it. “We did it last year. This year we’re going to do different things, but we included BBB and CRT because you wanted to do them. Trust me, I’m sure you’ll still have fun.”

But, your DD is 4 this trip? She is too young to know all there is at Disney, and is just remembering something she enjoyed. Don’t feel guilty about it. She’ll enjoy whatever you do.


I try to sell them on reasonable alternatives. They want Mickey mouse at a meal but you don’t want a buffet? How about Garden Grill? You stay in your seat, rotate around and watch the areas of The Land, the food and the characters come to you.


I say “when you pay for the holiday you get to decide what to do”. But honestly I just wouldn’t mention it at all and would just make sure to meet Mickey somewhere. There’s so much going on she might not even remember while you’re there anyway.


I’m a terrible parent.

I lied and told my DD that I couldn’t get an ADR for Chef Mickey’s on the day our schedule allowed it.


Not a terrible parent, that is an acceptable lie.

Kind of like, “Sorry, we can’t go to Chuck E Cheese, that’s only for birthday parties!”


My kids tend to get stuck and want to do the same things over and over. I get it but I try to sell them on the “we are trying something new”. Hasn’t yet applied to Disney yet for us but generally I’ve earned their trust that when we try something new they like it just as much.

Given that you’re staying at BLT though, that’ll be tough if she sees it every day. My boys would ask for it every time we walked past. Maybe give her a few other options (like Garden Grill as someone suggested) to chose from so she feels like she made the decision?

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I like @heidelj’s Garden Grill idea if you want to try a different character meal. Or you could schedule time to meet the fab 5 at MK and sell it to her like you’ll get extra time/photos/hugs with each character that way. We haven’t done a character meal before so I don’t know if it’s actually more time, but I think it’s safe to say it would be more photos.


this isn’t helping, but…they’re only little for so long

make them happy and cherish the memories :wink:


I ask my kids for things they would like to do, but they know my DH and I (mostly me because I’m the planner) have the final say. A vacation is for the whole family, adults included. I would simply say “no” as well.

And I wouldn’t write off all the character meals. We enjoy Garden Grill breakfast, which is family style. It is much more relaxing and the characters are fun, as mentioned above.

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My kids are 14, 11, and 8 and they are still disappointed that we aren’t going to Chef Mickey’s this summer. But we are not staying at the CR like we usually are, so I didn’t want to bother with going. We are going to go to Tusker House on one of our AK days, so I am hoping that will make them happy!


My two youngest kids (7 and 9) keep asking to go to Disney Springs. We planned a break day in the middle of our trip and my teens and DH will go to DS to do The VOID and eat lunch/shop, but I have planned something else for me and the two younger kids that morning. And we would also like to swim and relax that day at the resort before our Snow White dinner. What we are doing is a surprise to them so I can’t get their feedback. But they keep asking and I feel guilty for not fitting it in.
I’d probably try to fit it in but I’m not a big fan of DS–I like some of the restaurants but just not a big fan of trekking over there to eat as I don’t shop. I just keep telling them “We have too many fun things to do to fit it in. We will definitely make sure to fit it in next trip.” and at least one of those sentences is true. :slight_smile:

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Following. This weekend we plan to discuss with our nine year old twins what they are looking for in terms of character meals and interactions, since our ADR day is coming up for our August trip. I don’t think our kids are as interested any more in meeting characters, but my current plan is to squeeze in at least one character meal (Tusker House). However, we are staying at CR for the first part of our trip, and I would like to skip Chef Mickey’s. So if they are ok with skipping it, I need to be very clear with them that we will see it…um like every day.


I’m in the “they are only young once “ crowd! (If it’s in the budget anyways… if they are requesting too many high price items I’d make them pick.)


I usually try to get DS to prioritize what he wants to do. I’ll ask him what are the one or two most important things he wants to do on our trip and I work on making those things happen. So much of the trip is my planning I like to make sure what is important to others gets factored in as well. I do the same thing with DH. I have talked him out of a few things (c’mon, do we really need to do Le Cellier and Boathouse EVERY trip?!?! And not for steak - he wants them for poutine and parker house rolls) but if it’s within reason, I try to accommodate.

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Agreed, but I think 4 y/o is too young to understand that concept.


I don’t hold it against you, but I couldn’t do it … would feel too guilty!

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Does my daughter have you on retainer? :slight_smile:


We expect to go to WDW once each year so I could truthfully say that. If we skip Chef Mickey’s this year, we will do it the following year when my son is 3 and they will both be able to enjoy it.

Yes definitely, which is why I added the rest!

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